A crackdown on street vendors is taking place in Nigeria as the Lagos state government has begun a full roll out of a law banning street trading and activities of street hawkers.
This law which previously widely-flouted was rejuvenated and enforced since the beginning of July.
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Now street hawkers and those who buy from them face a fine equivalent to 300 US dollars or a six month jail term.
The move has however been met with different reactions.
Chinedu Bosah, secretary of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) says
“What is going to be the alternative? The alternative will only be crime. And the government keeps spending money for security, reinforcement. It doesn’t pay society.”
Many hawkers have also raised concerns over how they will not be able to support themselves.
“We’re not criminals, we have (qualifications). We’re trained. Most of us are trained in one thing or another. Please, let the government do what is reasonable,” said street hawker Shedrach Ogona.
In spite of Nigeria being Africa’s leading economy, a large number of its citizens still live in poverty. Unemployment among young graduates has been estimated to be nearly 45 percent.